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's your take? >> i think those numbers are actually not that bad considering it's been a tough environment. on the bottom line, two cents better shows that the company's actually operating a little better. the issue, really, is related to the stock, which is underperformed so far. it's down 6% last year. down 6% again this year. operationally, they are doing a better job. they also boosted their dividend. when we talk to investors, there seems to be a buyer strike at the moment. investors are concerned about networking and whether that entire market can become monetized and cisco's margins will be decreased. i think what's more important are the details of whether cisco can convince investors that the company can compete in an environment which is becoming increasingly software centric. >> now, you know that gross margins have slid over the past few years. what would signal a reversal in that trend? >> that's a good point. at its peak, gross margins were about 70%. last quarter, they were about 62%. i think more software, better products, and better engineersiengineering of a lot of these
do them. based on what we think the macroeconomic environment is going to do. >> so you were at that meeting at the white house this week. you joined a number of ceos at the white house yesterday. did the president give you hope that layoffs can be avoided at aetna? how was that meeting? >> i thought the meeting was a very constructive, very frank and open dialogue. i was impressed with the level and the grasp of the issues that the president had and his willingness to listen to american business about the ways that we needed to solve this problem. i think there is is a path to get this done. it's not going to get all done before the end of the year. but i think our message to the president was we're here to support you if you can avoid the cliff and put together a very specific framework on how we're going to get the economy going. because going over the cliff creates more joblessness. and if we can avoid that, we still don't grow the economy in 2013, so we need to show the business community, and quite frankly, all americans, that we have a plan to deal with this deficit so
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